President signs new property law with reservations
Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has signed off on a new housing law which aims to protect locals against gentrification as house prices have skyrocketed.
The new law, which was passed by parliament in early July, seeks to curb runaway gentrification in Lisbon and other key cities and prioritise affordable housing and prevent evictions.
Under the new law the Portuguese government is now responsible for ensuring adequate housing for all citizens as the ‘guarantor of the right to housing.’
It was introduced over fears that Portugal’s popularity as a tourist, second home and relocation destination was putting pressure on rents and house prices and forcing out traditional communities while making it impossible for young local families to rent or get a foot on the housing ladder in Lisbon and Porto.
The President signed the Lei de Bases da Habitação (Basic Housing Law) on Tuesday with doubts over “achieving the high expectations requested” and warned of the “excessive amount of stipulations” in the bill.
“Despite doubts as to possibly achieving the high expectations laid out and over the excessive stipulations and conditions for a framework law, the President has signed the bill which brings the law into force,” states the announcement.
The Basic Housing Law emphasises the “social function” of housing with the goals of eradicating homelessness, prioritising the use of public real estate for affordable housing, and banning tenant evictions across Lisbon.